Should we hire civilian investigators?

Juan Carlos Sanchez's picture

In hospitals, doctors and registered nurses have certified nurse assistants to help conduct the day-to-day health needs for patients. CNA's not only helps doctors and registered nurses treat more patients each day, but, in doing so, they help the hospital cut costs dramatically.

So, to me, it makes all the sense in the world to hire civilian investigators to help conduct non-violent theft cases. This strategy will cut costs while freeing uniformed officers to focus on their specific beat.

Here's an op-ed in support of civilian investigators from the SF Chronicle.

I believe this is a pragmatic approach at protecting our public safety in an era of chronic budget deficits.

johnalden's picture

Yes for civilian investigators

I think this is a great idea.  It's been very successful, I'm told, in Britain and other countries.  And we sure do need to have more first-responders for non-violent crimes.

mattgould's picture


I am most concerned about the level of training these "officers lite" will receive. Just because they're paid half as much as typical officers, doesn't mean they can receive half as much training. The useful thing is that their training can be much more specific to the less-violent situations that they'll likely encounter.

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